The Hope Coaster

photo source: mine

This is what hope looks like in my house.

This table sits right outside my son’s bedroom door in a busy throughway in our house. My husband looked at this today and said, “Are you sure about this?”

Hope is a crazy thing for us parents with hidden disabilities.

We ride a crazy roller coaster of hope constantly.

I haven’t decorated a surface out in the open like that in years. It’s been too dangerous. All those pretty things are an arsenal to be fired at the wall or someone’s head if an explosion occurs. I could lose all that in five minutes of a hot mess.


There haven’t been any explosions for quite a while. So I decided to be bold.

I am holding out hope that maybe we’ve moved beyond flinging debris around.

We are constantly looking for a shred of hope to hang on to. Wanting something good to happen. Seeing the minutest of changes as the start of something bigger and better.

I was going to insert this post later on but given the events of the last few weeks I thought maybe now was a good time for this.

I have met with the school for the last two mornings, trying to come up with a solution to my son’s lack of school attendance. He’s missed the majority of his classes since the start of school. Every night I dread the phone ringing at 8:00 PM telling me how many classes he missed that day. I walked out yesterday feeling holding on to the tiniest shred of  hope that things would change and we could convince him to attend. A phone call from the counselor telling me that the first part of our plan had succeeded pulled me up the slope of hope. A connection had been made, a new plan was formed, a new schedule was made.

The feeling grew as I met with a young man that seems like he could be a key to helping my son stay in school. Hope grew brighter and I shared with the prayer group my optimistic feelings. We were on the way up!!

I came home this evening and my husband reported that the automatic phone call from the school had come and our son hadn’t attended a single class all day today. Swing and a miss. We are on the stomach wrenching ride back down into the valley of despair.

Hope has left the building.

Plan 4356 part C please.

We fight for our kids day in and day out, hoping, planning, scheming on their behalf for success in any small way. We look for the right counselor/friend/group/program thinking that this will be the thing that changes the tide.

There is no guarantee that any of our plans, schemes, aha moments, prayers, nagging, cajoling, lecturing, convincing, pleading will have any effect on our child.

We have zero control over how they’ll respond to ‘the plan’.

There is no amount of reward/punishment/bribe/threat that will ensure cooperation – their brains generally don’t work that way. They are their own worst enemies. They don’t necessarily understand cause and effect, their rational, logical thinking mechanisms are broken, they don’t ‘get’ social cues.

But we keep riding the hope coaster holding on for dear life and hoping that one day we will find the key that will unlock the door to success.

It is a fierce fight.

A fight that shreds the soul a little more each time the coaster dips down to the valley of despair.

And we are exhausted.

We will keep fighting, planning, praying, scheming on his behalf.

And I will bravely leave that little table beautifully decorated with hopes that it will actually stay that way, because you never know, today could be the day where everything changes.

**If you are new here you might want to know that this post is part of a series on hidden disabilities. I am going to be continuing this series for all of October as part of the 31 Days Challenge. You can see all of the amazing topics over at The Nester’s! To go back to the beginning of this series click on the Alphabet Soup tab and you can see the indexed list of chapters.

About Lani

With six kids, a farm, a ministry and dreams poking out in every direction I need plenty of grace to keep all the balls in the air. The sweet thing is that when I drop them, that crazy grace of God is there telling me I'm still okay...and you are, too...welcome to this place of grace.

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